This July, the acronym formerly
known as IR/PS became GPS—
the School of Global Policy and
Strategy. But the difference goes
deeper than letters. Here the
school’s dean, Peter Cowhey,
The new name is representative of a
much larger strategic vision for the school;
can you tell us about that?
Dean Peter Cowhey: The name change
responds to the ever-evolving nature of
this dynamic educational institution. The
school was created in 1986 on the correct
prediction that the intersection of Asia and
the Americas would be fundamental to
global dynamics of the coming decades.
We were ahead of the curve in our focus and
that made us unique. Now, everyone claims
to be expert on the Pacific. Our goal is to
emphasize that we have linked our expertise
on the Pacific to forging global solutions.
For the School of Global Policy and
Strategy—formerly the School of
International Relations and Pacific
Studies—it’s an updated focus, and a
lot fewer syllables.
The world of global universities has
dramatically changed over the years,
from how they are funded to organizational
infrastructure. There is a sense that the
next great challenge will be to break out
of the silos of individual strengths and
pillars of excellence and combine expertise
into integrated, comprehensive problem
solving for society’s grand challenges.
GPS focuses on the ability to find solutions
to global challenges. The Pacific remains
the core of our regional identity, but we
are building on that to strengthen analytic
training and analysis, and capitalize on
the evolution that has occurred naturally
with our faculty research interests.
We remain steadfast to train students in
strategic thinking and analytic skills so
that they can apply practical solutions in
any part of the globe.
Chancellor Khosla has called the school
the place for policy-making on campus.
What does that mean to you?
PC: UC San Diego’s campus plan calls for
greater collaboration across the schools
and disciplines, and specifically highlights
the need to create bridges between the
STEMM fields [science, technology,
engineering, math, and medicine] and
policy. GPS stands ready to accept this
challenge. It is indicative not only of our
campus initiatives, but also of the leadership
role that we will play in connecting
UC San Diego to the world.
Our faculty have natural ties to other units
on campus, and as dean, I intend to provide
as much support as I can to strengthen and
deepen those collaborations. Examples of
new cross-campus collaboration currently
being pursued include a joint institute with
the Jacobs School of Engineering on global
production and innovation, and two
initiatives with Scripps Institution of
Oceanography—including one on climate
and other environmental issues.
DEAN PETER CO WHEY:
WHAT’S IN A
BY ANTHONY KING